Chapter News
May 2011


Thanks so much to Aaron and Jase for all your hard work this year.  The club would not have been the same without you and you will certainly be missed!---Sarah Lynagh.



Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Atlantic Cape Community College, Mays Landing, NJ 



The Miami-Dade County, Florida chapter of the AMS held an election of officers on May 23rd.

The results (name & contact info) are as follows:

President: Mr. Falko Judt -

Vice President/Secretary: Mr. Robert Black -

Treasurer: Dr. Xuejin Zhang  -

About 20 members attended. The speaker was Dr. Peter Ortner, head of CIMAS, the NOAA cooperative institute at U. Miami/RSMAS. Dr. Ortner spoke about the recent reorganization of the cooperative institute.---Robert A. Black.



May 4th, 2011

Attendance: 35 (Including Exec. Board)

Start Time: 7:00PM 



Our 2nd Annual Meteorological Symposium was held in April.  We asked the Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Kent Smith,  to offer opening remarks at the symposium.  He was extremely pleased with the turn out of the symposium that he gave the Chapter a $500 donation towards our next symposium.  

Apparel was designed and ordered for the Chapter.  Orders came out really well and everyone was please with the final products.  

This past month we have been working with the Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery to give weather demonstrations to the general public as well as elementary school students.  The Chapter Outreach Chair is also collecting all member high school addresses in order to send meteorology recruitment letters.  These letters will be sent out to the schools in early August 2011.

The Chapter is currently working to collect items to donate to tornado victims in Joplin, MO.  A member has contacts from the university that live in Joplin that is helping with donation arrangements.

he Chapter Advertising Chair is working with a committee in designing a poster for the Student Involvement Fair on campus the first week of school. 

The Chapter Vice President is working with the other officers to improve the peer-mentoring program so we can continue to help and advise the underclassmen as to how their academic schedules should be set up and to act as someone they can talk to.

The Chapter Fundraising Chair has set a goal to raise at least $150 a quarter for the chapter.  We had our first fundraising event, a trash for cash, where we went around one of the housing complexes on campus and took out trash for a small donation.  We are also collecting weather pictures to put into our weather calendar that is expected to be available before Christmas break.

The Chapter Treasurer reported that after the trash for cash, and not including the donation from Dr. Kent Smith, we have $1223.44 in our account. 

The officers have implemented a new emailing system.  This will make it easier for members to see which officer is sending them information as well as making replies easier.  Ex)  All The officers have this name set up. 

The chapter started a new tradition.  We implemented an End of the Year Banquet honoring outstanding individuals within the chapter and the officers for their hard work and dedication.

Research Presentations have been given by student research assistant with Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis after several of the meetings.---Elise Dolinar.



Monday, May 16, 2011 Meeting Minutes
Lo Solo Mio, Omaha

Barb called the meeting to order at 11:35 a.m. and greeted the 36 members and guests in attendance.

President’s Report (Barb Mayes): Barb thanked the membership, committee heads and officers for their support during the past two years that she has been President.

Vice President’s Report (Kristen George): Kristen asked for feedback regarding our restaurant choices this year, and also requested ideas regarding new restaurants with large party rooms.

Treasurer’s Report (Fritz VanWijngaarden): Fritz thanked Barb for her hard work the past two years. He also added to Kristen’s remarks in that we are also hoping for more speaker ideas for next year.

Beginning balance: $ 311.90 petty cash, Closing checking balance = $ 1026.66. Total = $ 1338.56. Karen was reimbursed for Science Fair prizes (books) she purchased for the amount $26.69.

Recording Secretary’s Report (Karen Harder-Sittel): The April minutes were submitted to the National Chapter, and she also posted to Facebook. Jay Martinelli got our chapter website in working order, so posted them there as well. We need to have them submitted to the record. Meeting minutes were approved.

Corresponding Secretary's Report (Rose Tseng): Rose has been reassigned to another station. Barb reflected her thanks and asked that our appreciation for Rose’s efforts be noted in the minutes. Thanks Rose!

Old business:

Karen: Our chapter is helping to program weather radios again this year with Bill Randby (KETV), Hy-Vee and Sarpy Co. Emergency Management. She reported that the chapter has been having a great deal of fun programming weather radios for the public, and there are 3 more planned events this year. Upcoming dates are all Saturdays, and at local Hy-Vees.

1. May 21 -- 144 Stony Brook - ( 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. )
2. June 11 -- 2323 West Broadway, Council Bluffs, IA - ( 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. )
3. June 25 -- 7910 Cass Street - ( 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. )

Last year Karen made some instructional videos for how to program a wx radio for the Omaha metro area. The videos are a little outdated, but with one viewing you will know the basics and be able to assist us greatly. and

Please let Karen know at, or on the chapter Facebook page to let us know what days/times you could be available. You can volunteer for the full 3 hours any or all or the three days, but even one hour on one of the days would be helpful.

Barb: We need to perform the annual audit of the Treasurer’s books, and need at least 3 volunteers who are not outgoing or incoming officers to complete this task. Becky Selin volunteered to chair this committee. Bruce Telfeyan will assist, and they could use one or two additional persons.

Barb has completed working the details of becoming a joint AMS/NWA chapter. The agreement is on the table and signed. We will be officially be a joint chapter in time for our annual kickoff meeting at the NWS - Valley in September 2011.

Bruce Telfeyan spoke on behalf of the NWA’s marketing and membership committee. He said that student/retired/active duty military membership rates are $18/yr. Bruce also mentioned that the NWS Annual meeting will be held in Birmingham, AL in October 2011, and the NWA is very happy we have decided to have this joint affiliation.

(Recording Secretary notes: If not student/retired/active duty, rate is $45/yr. Dues include online newsletters and digests. Please consider becoming a member at:

Allocations: None. Barb mentioned that we will be probably having allocations for speaker gifts beginning in the fall.

New business: Elections

Barb mentioned that voters must be dues paying members of this chapter in order to cast a ballot.

Fritz confirmed membership and administered ballots and officer biographies on admission to our meeting.

Each Candidate gave a brief description of their qualifications.

The business meeting temporary adjourned at 11:45 a.m., continuing with lunch, while the votes were tallied. The meeting continued with the 2011-2012 officers announced:

President: Jay Martinelli
Vice President: Kristin George
Treasurer: Fritz VanWijngaarden
Corresponding Secretary: Richard Ritz
Recording Secretary: Karen Harder-Sittel

Meeting adjourned at 12:04 p.m.

Our speaker was Mr. Bonar Menninger, author of the book And Hell Followed With It: Life and Death in a Kansas Tornado.

He presented an overview of stories told about the Topeka tornado of June 8, 1966. The book is available via Copies were for sale at the meeting, and Mr. Menninger autographed them. He also autographed two of Bruce Telfeyan’s 1967 and 1968 Weatherwise magazines, which featured the June 1966 storms in both Manhattan KS and Topeka KS in the two issues. More information about the author and the story can be found at: Harder-Sittel.



The May meeting of the AMS Smoky Mountain Chapter was held on the evening of the 16th. Around six people first met for dinner at Barley's Taproom in the Old City of Knoxville. Then around twelve people met at the Biosystems Engineering and Environmental Sciences Building on the UT Ag campus to hear a presentation by Dale Kaiser (researcher from Oak Ridge National Laboratory) on the current state of wind energy development. The title of the talk was "Wind Energy: By Far the Fastest-Growing Form of Renewable Energy". Dale was assisted by two of his student interns - Lyndy Wibking and Sara McNamee. The material for their talk was collected from their experience in a project they've been working on the last 1-2 years at ORNL: the Wind ENergy Data and Information (WENDI) Gateway. Some of the topics they covered included:

1. Why develop wind energy (for the production of electricity)?

2 .The basics of wind energy development, including where the best wind is (and therefore where the wind plants are being built) 3. Environmental issues surrounding wind energy (e.g., "Don't those wind turbines kill birds?") 4. Basic economics of developing large-scale (commercial/utility-scale) wind energy and the cost of the electricity it can produce 5. Consumer (small-scale) wind energy 6. How the Department of Energy has helped drive wind energy development (it really got going during the Bush years) 7. The state of U.S. and Global wind power development (Is China eating our lunch in this field too?) 8. Valuable and interesting information resources for learning more about wind energy 9. Some late-breaking wind energy news: an interesting late-breaking wind energy story included controversy in the Pacific Northwest in mid-May 2011 surrounding the Bonneville Power Administration telling wind power plants in the region to stand down temporarily as the transmission grid could not handle power generation generation from all sources in the region. This was primarily due to a very wet spring in the region causing the hydro dams to generate at maximum, with limited capacity to store water upstream from the dams. Wind plant interests were considering legal action against BPA, as fossil fuel and nuclear plants were not asked to stand down. If the wind is blowing but the wind plants are not producing, they stand to lose money by not being able to claim federal "production tax credits" during that time.

10. How much electricity is being produced now and how much is envisioned for the future?

The following are biographies of the speakers:

Dale Kaiser is a research staff member in the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) at ORNL. Since 1990, most of his work has involved compilation, quality assurance, documentation, and analysis of climate datasets. This work has primarily involved U.S., Russian, and Chinese surface, instrumental climate data and has resulted in a series of papers over the years related to changes in cloudiness and related climate variables over China. Dale’s other work at ORNL includes managing the development of the Wind ENergy Data and Information (WENDI) Gateway in support of DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Office and supporting DOE’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Archive by developing and managing metadata for the many data streams generated by ARM sites around the world.

Lyndy Wibking graduated from UT Knoxville with a Bachelor's degree in English Rhetoric & Writing in May 2010. Currently, she is pursuing a Master's degree at UTK's School of Information Sciences. Her interest in information science began when she worked as a student library assistant at UTK's Digital Library Initiatives, and her focus in the SIS program continues to be on digital libraries and archives. As a graduate research assistant at ORNL, she contributes to the development of the Wind ENergy Data and Information (WENDI) Gateway - a virtual repository of wind energy data and information - through the creation of metadata and GIS shapefiles, as well as various outreach activities.

Sara McNamee graduated from the University of Florida in 2008 with a Bachelor's degree in Geology. In May 2011, she earned her Master's degree in Information Sciences from UTK. In the spring of 2011, she completed a practicum at ORNL working on the WENDI Gateway project.---David Gaffin.



The final meeting of the 2010-11 chapter year took place on May 21, 2011.  The meeting was preceded this evening by a picnic outside of the Twin Cities WFO/RFC at 6:00 p.m.

The festivities moved inside to the conference room, and the meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by president Chris Bovitz.  Vice president Matt

Friedlein, treasurer Bryan Howell, and seven other members were in attendance.  Introductions were made.

Bovitz summarized the minutes from the April meeting which included a presentation by the Air National Guard’s 208th Weather Flight based in Minnesota. The minutes as summarized were approved unanimously with a motion made by Bryan Howell and seconded by Diane Cooper.  

Howell gave the treasurer’s report.  While we knew the amount that the chapter was to pay St. Thomas University for catering for the Northern Plains Convective Workshop ($879), he was still waiting for an invoice from them.  Based on that, Howell estimated the chapter will end the year with $670.  This higher-than-usual amount was because we didn’t bring a speaker in from out of town.  The report was approved unanimously on a motion by Tony Perkins and a second by Diane Cooper.

A new slate of officers was elected on a white ballot (motion by Bryan Howell, second by Diane Cooper) by unanimous consent:
    President: Matt Friedlein
    Vice President: Mike Griesinger
    Secretary: Chris Bovitz
    Treasurer: Bryan Howell
Here are the nonelected chairpeople for next year:
    Newsletter Editor: Meredith Willems
    Science Fair Coordinator: Arden Berge
    Professional Development Coordinator: Diane Cooper
    Webmaster: Chris Bovitz
    DataStreme Atmosphere: Matt Friedlien (probably)

Bovitz summarized Arden Berge’s report on the Southwestern/South Central Minnesota Regional Science & Engineering Fair, Minnesota State University.  Sixteen certificates were given out by our chapter, eight to each of the two divisions.

Bovitz repeated his desire to have a new "brand" for the chapter.  While our current name of "The Twin Cities Chapter of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association" does accurately describe who and what we are, a different name should say the same thing more succinctly.

Allocations for chapter supplies were approved:

The members discussed the past year.  Generally, the membership felt the year went well.  Ideas for speakers for next year were made:

Bovitz gave some parting words at the end of his last meeting in his five years as AMS president.  Although not everything he wanted to do was done, he was happy at what was accomplished while he was in charge.  His hope was to leave the chapter in a better state than when he was elected.

A motion for adjournment 8:03 p.m. was made by Bryan Howell and seconded by Diane Cooper.  Approval was unanimous.---Chris Bovitz.



Monthly Meeting: Officer Elections


The last monthly meeting of the 2010-2011 academic year was held on May 12 at 10:45 am. A total of 36 members attended. Candidates running for chapter officer positions had been asked to submit their platform statements via e-mail three days before the meeting. At the meeting, they briefly discussed their objectives as a final chance to prove why they deserved to be chapter officers. There was also a question and answer session before the election process started.  The Chapter advisor, Dr. Carlos U. Pabón, and honorary member Waleska Cruz, counted the votes. They announced that the chapter officers for the 2011-2012 academic year are as follows:

President: Rosimar Ríos-Berríos

Vice-president: Fernanda Ramos

Treasurer: José Algarín

Secretary: Ashley Cruz

After the meeting concluded, the new chapter officers designated the rest of the positions:

Historian: Diamilet Pérez-Betancourt
Web-master: Juan P. Ramos

“Juracán TV” Magazine Editor: Alexandra Ramos

Everyone left the meeting looking forward to the upcoming 5th anniversary celebration banquet. The banquet was the last planned activity of the year and promised to reward the members for all their great contributions to the chapter’s endeavors. 

Activity: 5th Anniversary Celebration Banquet

Both the retiring chapter officers and the candidates participated in organizing this Hollywood themed event. It was held on May 19 at the Mayagüez Resort and Casino, the largest hotel resort in western Puerto Rico. The special guests included UPRM Physics Department faculty members Dr. Héctor Jiménez, Dr. Luis F. Bejarano, and Dr. Mark Jury. Administrative official Virginia Figueroa, as well as a chapter honorary member, Denisse Ramirez were also present.

An opening ceremony was held before the banquet. All of the aforementioned individuals, the past chapter officers, and other guests who could not attend were recognized for their broad contributions to the chapter during its first five years. Yaítza Luna, co-founder and first chapter president, sent a video in which she shared her experiences and her first president’s speech. She surprised everyone when two renowned scientists, Dr. Chris Davis (senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)), and Peggy LeMone (former AMS president and also a senior scientist at NCAR) congratulated the chapter in the video.

We then moved on to the next part of the celebration, which was the Weather Awards. Characteristics of some members had been matched with different weather phenomena. These members were awarded tornado-shaped prizes during this humorous section of the event.

Figure 1. Some members were given tornado-shaped prizes at the Weather Awards.

Following this, two retiring chapter officers introduced the new officers. Rosimar Ríos-Berríos, the chapter president, closed the ceremony with a speech and asked everyone to give a standing ovation to the graduating seniors. Delicious food, diverse music, a cake (Figure 2) and karaoke were some of the treats that followed the ceremony. The joy, positive energy and sense of friendship that filled the ballroom were the perfect way to conclude the academic year (Figure 3).

Figure 2. The members sang “Happy Birthday” to the student chapter.


Figure 3. The members celebrated the chapter’s 5th Anniversary with great enthusiasm.

We would like to thank Alexander Rodríguez, historian of the Society of Physics Students at UPRM, for providing the pictures of this event.





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